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Identity-deduction comes to a new level as players are under cover.

Card Game Review: Good Cop Bad Cop Undercover from Overworld Games

The Undercover expansion for Good Cop Bad Cop from Overworld Games adds a new level to identity deduction games. There is corruption throughout the force with the crooked cops headed by a Kingpin, while the honest policemen under the leadership of the special Agent are trying to root them out. It has come to a final showdown, and whichever leader is still standing will run the show.

GCBCUndercoverLike classic party identity games including Mafia, Good Cop Bad Cop pits two teams of players against one another. Unlike many other games, however, the teams do not know who are allies and who are enemies. In fact, most players will likely have a streak of honesty or crookedness despite their overall alignment, and loyalties may very well change as the game progresses. The fluidity of allegiance is what sets Good Cop Bad Cop apart.

The game is set up with each player being dealt three Integrity cards that will show where each player’s loyalty lies. These are studied by each player and then placed facedown on the tabletop. During each player’s turn, they may Investigate by looking at another player’s cards, draw an Equipment card for bonuses, or Arm by taking of the gun tokens from the middle. If a player begins his or her round with a gun Aimed, they may Shoot, potentially bringing down their opponent and winning the game.

Built on a solid foundation of game mechanics, “Covers” added through the Good Cop Bad Cop: Undercover expansion hide one’s identity and bring about powerful twists that will change up every game into something completely different. Equipment can be costly, although they are often worth the price for powers like the Surveillance Camera that prompts investigated cards to be revealed for everyone or the Ambulance that will save a gunned-down comrade. Covers can have similar powers, such as the Interrogator forcing a target to reveal an Integrity card or the Hustler stealing and using equipment from another player.

GCBCUndercoverBodyguardIn the expansion, each player starts out with a unique Cover, which shifts the inherent balance into potential chaos perfect for party-style deduction games. The replayability of Good Cop Bad Cop skyrockets as players will want to have a turn at each potential power. Some players will abuse their powers, throwing out investigations and grabbing guns, while others will be more conservative, hoping to catch opponents at just the right time and capture the win.

Good Cop Bad Cop is an identity-deduction game for four to eight players aged twelve and up. Games are very quick, usually lasting only ten or fifteen minutes except with especially large or methodical groups. The longer games with more people are far and away the best way to play Good Cop Bad Cop. With fewer players, there may be less downtime, but there is also less deducing. With more people comes more fun as well as a host of extra cards with wacky powers unusable in smaller groups where their mechanics prove too powerful.

About Jeff Provine

Jeff Provine is a Composition professor, novelist, cartoonist, and traveler of three continents. His latest book is a collection of local ghost legends, Campus Ghosts of Norman, Oklahoma.

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